New Year's Eve Ceremony - 108

Na japan culture instead of the expected fireworks, what we hear are the 108 chimes of the ritual of the Temple Buddhist ¨Joya no Kane¨.

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Every year on 31 December, the countdown so expected by the Japanese are the 108 chimes of the bell, for the Japanese people, this ritual celebrates the arrival of the Ano Novo.

In Temple of japan the traditional Bell Bell 108 ceremony is held. A ritual of thanksgiving, meditation, and the buzzing of the Great Bell Bonsho 108 times.

  • The 108s

According to Buddhist beliefs, the popular 108 represent the 108 sins or worldly desires of man, and the ringing of the bell serves to ward off those desires, so that man may enter purified in the new year.

They refer to the six senses (vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch and consciousness), multiplied by three reactions (positive, negative or indifferent), giving a total of 18 wishes. Each of these desires may be connected or separated from pleasure, thus multiplying by 2, giving a total of 36 desires.

Each of these desires may manifest itself in the past, present or future, so 36 is multiplied by 3, resulting in 108. This number is very common in Indian religious beliefs, so when Buddhism arrived in Japan (about 400 AC), this number also became part of various Buddhist traditions.

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